TradeBriefs Editorial From the Editor's Desk

Why Conspiracy Theories Work so Well on Facebook
Panic attacks were common. Employees joked about suicide, had sex in the stairwells, and smoked weed on break.

A disturbing investigative report by the Verge last week revealed that some of Facebook’s contract moderators—who are tasked with keeping content like beheadings, bestiality, and racism out of your news feed—have turned to extreme coping mechanisms to get through the workday. Some contractors have been profoundly impacted by the content they’re exposed to, which may have implications for the rest of us who have grown accustomed to scrolling past sketchy links in our news feeds.

For some workers, repeatedly viewing conspiracy videos and memes became a gateway to embracing conspiracy theories themselves. Contractors told the Verge’s Casey Newton that some of their peers would “embrace fringe views” after days spent combing through conspiracy videos and memes.

“One auditor walks the floor promoting the idea that the Earth is flat,” Newton wrote.

Because most misinformation isn’t banned by the platform’s rules, Facebook generally won’t remove it outright, arguing instead that it should be countered with factual reports. Such efforts have not been totally successful: A recent article in the Guardian found that “search results for groups and pages with information about vaccines were dominated by anti-vaccination propaganda” on the social network.

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TradeBriefs Editorial From the Editor's Desk

When You Are Overwhelmed By The Pressure To Find Your Passion
We are constantly being told to pursue our passions in life, but there are times when passion is a TALL ORDER, and really hard to reach. But curiosity, I have found, is always within reach.

Passion is a tower of flame, but curiosity is a tiny tap on the shoulder  -  a little whisper in the ear that says, "Hey, that's kind of interesting..."
Passion is rare; curiosity is everyday.
Curiosity is therefore a lot easier to reach at at times than full-on passion -  and the stakes are lower, easier to manage.
The trick is to just follow your small moments of curiosity. It doesn’t take a massive effort.

Just turn your head an inch. Pause for a instant. Respond to what has caught your attention. Look into it a bit. Is there something there for you? A piece of information?

I literally stopped in my tracks.

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TradeBriefs Editorial From the Editor's Desk

The Art Of High-Value Productivity: Three Lessons From Woody Allen
As the productivity guru, Cal Newport  -  the best selling author of deep work -  suggests, if we are to go high on the ladder of achievement we have to consistently produce high-value results.

Producing-high value results require that in our lists, we give the priorities to the items that end up producing a valuable and precious outcome.

If you are an academic person, it would mean that you spend most of the time deeply devouring academic papers and reflecting on them.

If you are a writer, it means that you must designate the majority of your time writing (instead of getting wrapped up with the trivialities such as growing your twitter account).

Woody Allen is a shining embodiment of high-value productivity. He has written and directed 44 movies in 44 years and has earned 23 Academy Award nominations along the way. So let’s explore what we can learn from him.

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